Three months into bankruptcy proceedings, the manager of the Havre Eagles Club said the Chapter 11 filing has not affected the club’s operation. Events are still occurring and being planned right through the club’s Christmas celebration and beyond.
“It’s not affecting business at all, ” club manager Tom Farnham said Monday.
The Eagles filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U. S. Bankruptcy Court April 27, 10 days after state District Court Judge Dan Boucher ordered the Eagles to pay $290,780.75 to KayCee Groven, who the state had determined had been sexually harassed by Farnham.
The Eagles asked the bankruptcy court judge to rule that the money they owe Groven is not secured by the club’s property.
The attorneys for Groven and the Eagles had not returned calls asking for comment by deadline this morning.
Bankruptcy Court Judge Ralph B. Kirscher of Butte has not scheduled a trial on the Eagles request or on the general Chapter 11 reorganization and proposed payment plans to creditors.
Under Chapter 11, the business proposes how it would reorganize its finances and proposes payment plans to creditors.
According to documents the Eagles have filed in Bankruptcy Court, the value of its building is $64,000 and that already is securing a debt to Independence Bank, a $115,000 loan made in 2009 with a balance of $105,594.66.
A document lists the club’s net income from June 2011 through April 2012 as $52,517.17 in the red, which is worse than last year, when the club lost $47,685,60.
Groven filed the complaint with the state Human Rights Bureau, listing several years of harassment. Farnham pleaded guilty in Blaine County Court to sexual assault.
Farnham said that Boucher’s order was the reason for the bankruptcy filing.
Boucher ordered the Eagles Aerie 166, doing business as the Eagles Club, to make its first payment May 1, with $248,384.75 due and payable immediately. The remaining $42,396 was to be paid monthly from June 1 through Nov. 1, 2013.
The total included the Human Rights Bureau damages of $234,354.01 and attorney fees and costs Boucher awarded Groven totalling $56,426.74.
Groven filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission alleging the Eagles Club, her employer, had sexually discriminated against her when Farnham subjected her to a hostile work environment by inappropriately touching her and committing sexual assault against her.
The hearing officer found that Farnham had acted increasingly inappropriately from 2004, when Groven began working at the club, through her quitting her job after he sexually assaulted her in Blaine County Sept. 1, 2009, to which he pleaded guilty.
As Groven had talked to club officers and a trustee starting in 2006 asking them to stop Farnham from touching and propositioning her, the hearing officer ruled that the Eagles Club was liable for the work environment. The hearing officer noted that after the Havre Eagles board of trustees gave Farnham a written disciplinary warning, the national Eagles organization stepped in and Farnham was fired. The local board later rehired him as manager.
The bureau hearing officer ordered the Eagles to pay Groven $193,502.47 in lost wages and benefits, interest and emotional distress damages, and a monthly payment for part of two years for future earnings.
The Eagles appealed, saying it should not pay the $75,000 ordered for emotional distress.
The Human Rights Commission then ruled the amount for emotional damages should be $100,000.
Groven filed the petition for enforcement of the Human Rights Bureau order and requesting attorney fees and costs in state District Court in Havre Nov. 30, 2011.